Chrissie Hynde surveyed the room before her, a sell-out of 3000 souls all seated expectantly in the Glasgow Royal Concert hall.
“It’s not the Barralands, is it?” She quipped before bursting into her first song Alone, the title track from her new album.
My brother Duncan and I smiled at each other and with a quick look at the mostly grey heads in front and all around us, we had to agree.
Most of the audience were middle-aged, grey and podgy. Couples in their comfort zones.
Not Chrissie though, yes she’s looking older, but slim and fit and still bouncing around the stage with vast reserves of energy.
Just so you know, she’s 66 and doesn’t look a day over …. Errr?!! J
Well some number much younger than 66 anyway.
We were here to see The Pretenders, the music of our youth and they didn’t disappoint.
Sure this wasn’t the same band, we first saw on TOTP back in 1979(?) with Brass In Pocket, there’s a new keyboard player and two new guitarists on lead and bass, the lead guitarist was particularly superb, blasting out guitar riffs and rockabilly seamlessly.
But we were here to see Chrissie and Martin Chambers, the only other original surviving original member, drum-god, if that’s a word. Jeez, these guys are great together, Martin plays like he’s having fun, like it’s too easy for him then goes into the odd solo here and there just to show off the depth of his abilities with the audience doing their best to clap along as he increase the tempo.
Chrissie, 66, still sings like an angel and even better than I had imagined, The strength and purity of her vocal was particularly emphasised on the almost acapella Hymn to Her, then it soared on I’ll Stand By You … which I’ll confess brought a tear this usually cynical eye. I must be getting old or something? 🙂
All the hits were there including Message of Love, Chain Gang, Brass In Pocket, Stop Your Sobbing, Kid, Talk Of The Town and the particularly wonderful Don’t Get Me Wrong which always makes me smile.
The set list also featured half a dozen or so songs from the new album with Let’s Get Lost and the sardonic I Hate Myself being my personal favourites and I’ll be sure to give the album a listen when in the car later.
As Chrissie had observed, there was a lot of grey in the audience, but the first 10 rows in front of me were on their feet by the encore.
Duncan and I were standing well before then and proudly told the fogey behind us to fuck off when they asked us to sit down.
Next time Chrissie, go for the O2 Academy, it’s the right size of venue, lots of standing room and the fogeys can sit in the balcony if they choose.
We might be older, but like yourself, we aren’t dead yet.
In fact, the show was so good, I’m seriously tempted to go see the band when the play Edinburgh’s Usher Hall tomorrow night.